Biology Requirements

Biology Major Requirements

1. Introductory Biology

BIOL 101 must be taken first, BIOL 202 and BIOL 203, offered in both fall and spring semesters, should be taken in subsequent semesters; introductory courses serve as prerequisites for upper-level biology courses.

  • BIOL 101 Biology in Practice (4 credits)
  • BIOL 202 Concepts of Biology: Biological Information (4 credits)
  • BIOL 203 Concepts of Biology: Energy and Resources (4 credits)

2. Chemistry Foundation Courses

Ideally 100-level chemistry courses should be taken in the first year of study; Accelerated General Chemistry replaces CHEM 107/107L and 108/108L; enrollment in CHEM 109 is based on placement test. CHEM 202/202L, Organic Chemistry II is recommended for students considering graduate school or medical school.

  • CHEM 107/107L General Chemistry I (4 credits) and CHEM 108/108L General Chemistry II (4 credits) or CHEM 109 Accelerated General Chemistry (4 credits)
  • CHEM 201/201L Organic Chemistry (5 credits)

3. Other Non-biology Foundation Courses

These courses can be taken during any year of study; typically students take physics after the second year

  • MATH 108 Statistics, or MATH 121 Single Variable Calculus, or PSYC 291 Experimental Statistics (3 or 4 credits)
  • PHYS 140 Principles of Physics I (4 credits)
  • PHYS 141 Principle of Physics II (4 credits)

4. Core Area of Study in Biology

Students must complete 21 credits total. Option 1: Take 7 credits in each area of study. Option 2: Take 10 credits in any one core area, 7 credits in a second core area and 4 credits in the remaining core area. Students must take at least 1 lab (L) in each core area for either option. Students must take at least one plant-related course (P) and one course related to diversity and taxonomy (D) from any core area (some courses satisfy both requirements). Biology majors are encouraged to complete internships or other off-campus educational experiences; internships cannot substitute for core-area biology courses.

Cell and Molecular Biology

  • BIOL 300 Animal Development (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 300L Animal Development Lab (1 credit; L; D)
  • BIOL 301 Plant Development (3 credits; P, D)
  • BIOL 301L Plant Development Lab (1 credit; P, L; D)
  • BIOL 306 Microbiology (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 306L Microbiology Lab (1 credit; L; D)
  • BIOL 312 Molecular Biology of the Cell (3 credits)
  • BIOL 312L Molecular Biology of the Cell Lab (1 credit; L)
  • BIOL 313 Genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 313L Genetics Lab (1 credit; L)
  • BIOL 314 Immunology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 315 Pathological Processes (3 credits)
  • BIOL 321 Electron Microscopy (3 credits)
  • BIOL 321L Electron Microscopy Lab (1 credit: L)
  • BIOL 420 Developmental Genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOC 405 Biochemistry (3 credits)
  • BIOC 405 Biochemistry and 405L Biochemistry Lab (4 credits; L)
  • ____________________________ (other course approved by the chairperson)

Organismal Biology

  • BIOL 302 Plant Physiology (3 credits; P)
  • BIOL 302L Plant Physiology Lab (1 credit; L; P)
  • BIOL 304 Medical Physiology (3 credits)
  • BIOL 304L Medical Physiology Lab (1 credit; L)
  • BIOL 306 Microbiology (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 306L Microbiology Lab (1 credit; D; L)
  • BIOL 307 Vertebrate Zoology (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 307L Vertebrate Zoology Lab (1 credit; D; L)
  • BIOL 309 Medicinal Plants (3 credits; P)
  • BIOL 310 Ornithology: Study of Birds (4 credits; L; D)
  • BIOL 311 Invertebrate Zoology (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 311L Invertebrate Zoology Lab (1 credit; L; D)
  • BIOL 315 Pathological Processes (3 credits)
  • BIOL 317 Exercise Physiology (4 credits; L)
  • BIOL 319 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits: L)
  • BIOL 320 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits; L)
  • PSYC 305 Biopsychology (3 credits)
  • ____________________________ (other course approved by the chairperson)

Ecology and Evolution

  • BIOL 303 Ecology (3 credits; P)
  • BIOL 303L Ecology Lab (1 credit; P)
  • BIOL 305 Plant Biology (3 credits; P, D)
  • BIOL 305L Plant Biology Lab (1 credit; P)
  • BIOL 308 Aquatic Ecology (4 credits)
  • BIOL 310 Ornithology: Study of Birds (4 credits; D)
  • BIOL 318 Evolution (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 322 Marine Biology (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 340 and 341 Tropical Biology and Natural History of Costa Rica (4 credits)
  • BIOL 415 Microbial Ecology (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 415L Microbial Ecology Lab (1 credit; D)
  • BIOL 435 Behavioral Ecology (3 credits)
  • ____________________________ (other course approved by the chairperson)

5. Biology Research Experience

BIOL 392 is only offered in fall semester and should be taken in the junior year. BIOL 490 should taken in the fall (2 credits) and spring (2 credits) semesters, but other arrangements for completing 4 credits of BIOL 490 can be arranged with the student’s senior-project advisor (e.g. 2 credits in January term and 2 credits in spring semester).

  • BIOL 392 Research Methods in Biology (2 credits)
  • BIOL 490 Senior Research Project I (2 credits)
  • BIOL 490 Senior Research Project II (2 credits)

6. Non-course Graduation Requirements

Non-course graduation requirements are typically completed in the spring of the senior year. The senior comprehensive exam is used to assess the department’s learning goals and is offered twice in early May. Oral or poster presentations are given during the Biology Senior Symposium in May each year.

  • Senior Comprehensive Exam
  • Presentation in Biology Symposium

Biology Minor Requirements

1. Introductory Biology

BIOL 101 must be taken first, BIOL 202 and BIOL 203, offered in both fall and spring semesters, should be taken in subsequent semesters; introductory courses serve as prerequisites for upper-level biology courses.

  • BIOL 101 Biology in Practice (4 credits)
  • BIOL 202 Concepts of Biology: Biological Information (4 credits)
  • BIOL 203 Concepts of Biology: Energy and Resources (4 credits)

2. Upper-level Biology Courses

Students must take a minimum of any two of the 300- or 400-level core-area biology courses listed above, including one lab  (L) course (7 credits total). Some examples of upper-level courses for the minor are listed here:

  • BIOL 306 Microbiology (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 306L Microbiology Lab (1 credit; L; D)
  • BIOL 312 Molecular Biology of the Cell (3 credits)
  • BIOL 312L Molecular Biology of the Cell Lab (1 credit; L)
  • BIOL 313 Genetics (3 credits)
  • BIOL 313L Genetics Lab (1 credit; L)
  • BIOL 309 Medicinal Plants (3 credits; P)
  • BIOL 310 Ornithology: Study of Birds (4 credits; L; D)
  • BIOL 317 Exercise Physiology (4 credits; L)
  • BIOL 319 Human Anatomy and Physiology I (4 credits: L)
  • BIOL 320 Human Anatomy and Physiology II (4 credits; L)
  • BIOL 308 Aquatic Ecology (4 credits)
  • BIOL 318 Evolution (3 credits; D)
  • BIOL 340 and 341 Tropical Biology and Natural History of Costa Rica (4 credits)
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